27.4.13

Communing with Nature

You might have asked yourselves why I talked about Wicca as a "natural religion" when there hasn't been a single mention of nature on this blog yet. Well, I think it's about time I got to that point so if you have asked yourself this question, you had the complete right to do so :)

Up to now, I have just "listed" some rough facts that could help you, but if you have been following this blog, it should be about time to get away from that and get into a deeper philosophy of Wicca and its spiritual side. Anyone can get out a candle, light it and call this a ritual, but to truly connect to what you are doing, it takes time and effort.

I have lately been reading a lot of books that keep saying something along the lines of "not even fifty books will explain the spiritual side of Wicca better than being in nature itself...and they certainly won't be worth more than the experience itself". I find this to be true. I think its best to experience everything on your own skin and the sooner the better (though this doesn't apply to rituals in my opinion, because some knowledge is needed for ritual work, as well as time for that knowledge to settle, a bit of practice and feelings at the end of it all. I'm talking about meditation and communing with yourself and the cosmic forces primarily). 

If we decide to look at the religious aspect of Wicca, the God and Goddess are the most important "personas". I prefer to look on the relationship towards them as I would on a relationship with a friend (though your viewpoint may differ from mine...you may experience them as solely spiritual leaders, parents etc.). However you decide to view them doesn't change the fact that a certain amount of time and energy has to be put into a relationship for it to work (and this goes for ANY relationship). If you lose contact, then this relationship will wither away. All of this goes for your relationship with the Goddess and God. If you sit down with them and "have a drink" or in any way make them a part of your life (and yourselves), then this relationship will stay strong. This can be done in any minimal way; you don't have to do rituals for every occasion because these take up a log of time and energy (that most people don't have nowadays). For example, if you have any of your ritual tools out in the open and pass them often, next time you walk by them acknowledge them and emphasize the fact that they aren't a part of your daily routine. If you perhaps have a key chain of other token that has any sort of spiritual meaning to you, simply look at it every now and then to remind yourselves of that other side you have. You can even do a short meditation (5 minutes is enough, sometimes even more than enough) and take that time to give thanks for the energy you have and feel that these five minutes really did play a special role in that day. As you can see, you don't have to make grand gestures. Something small can do equally as well. I realize that in these fast-moving times, people are always concerned with mundane problems and forced to live at a faster pace, but you CAN take this short amount of time every now and then just for yourselves. It really helps to lighten all the burdens we have to carry.

Personally, I love to just go into nature (mostly I go by bike, but I don't mind walking either) and relax, or rather completely let myself over to everything that surrounds me. These are the moments where you can most clearly feel the presence of the Great Mother and Green Man (or Horned God, depending on the season). When you take your time to go into nature, this process of going there is in itself very special to people who live in cities (I sadly have to admit that I fall into this category). So next time you go into nature, look at the leaves swaying with the wind, feel the breeze on your skin and breathe in deeply. Believe me when I say that nature really can replenish the body and soul. I often like to bring a book with me (I love to read so this relaxes me even more), or meditate, but in any case, I prefer to be separated form any form of technology (turn of your cellphone, don't listen to music...this will only spoil the beautiful sounds of chirping birds and the blowing wind around you).

Anyway, so this post doesn't just end up being a series of my philosophical thoughts, I would like to recommend a few short meditations which you can try in order to help you commune with nature (both exterior, but also the nature within yourselves...you never know ;)). I am going to be retelling these meditations out of my head. Some of them I read somewhere, others I got to in various other way, but who can even remember where I found each of them :) so if you happen to come across a similar (of even the same) technique in a book or somewhere else, don't be too surprised :)

Tree Roots

This is one of my favorite meditations. I find it better to do when there's an actual tree nearby than not, but you decide for yourselves. Basically, all you have to do is sit down comfortably and keep as straight a back as you can manage (without pain). The usual pose is a half lotus, but if you find this uncomfortable then just find another pose that suits you. I recommend doing this in nature so that your back is against a tree trunk (which also gives you physical support). Visualize yourselves becoming connected to the earth and growing roots that begin at the bottom of your spine and grow deep into the ground and your spine becoming a big root (or a bunch of roots) similar to that of any tree. Once you have spread your roots deep enough, feel yourself sharing the earth's energy. Think only positive thoughts. Visualize the circulation of positive energy through your roots (which can keep on branching if you like). If you want to, you can even visualize your roots intertwining with those of the tree by which you are sitting (wonderful metaphor for communing with nature, don't you think?). When you want to stop with this meditation, visualize your roots returning back into you and your spine turning back to normal. While doing this, you don't want all that positive energy to just leave you so you can keep visualizing white light (a typical symbol for positive energy) continually flowing through you. Slowly return to reality and open your eyes.

Moonlight

This exercise is usually done on the night of a full moon, though nobody can forbid you from doing it on any other night (not depending on the phase of the moon). All you need is a bowl of water and a clear view of the moon. Sit yourself nicely somewhere where you have a clear reflection of the moon on the surface of the water in your bowl (though moonlight is enough if the night is a bit cloudier). Concentrate on the Moon's reflection/the moonlight and observe what it looks like on this surface. Now is the time to just free your mind of all your problems and questions and focus on this reflection or perhaps think about your connection to the cosmos and the moon (for which we now know is a symbol of the Goddess). This method is often used for divinatory purposes and it is a fitting replacement for the black mirror (which equally as well reflects everything). Of course, it's your choice what you will use this method for :)

The Sun and Stars

Sit (or lie down, but without falling asleep haha...whichever you prefer) comfortably somewhere on the grass. The purpose of this exercise is to connect with the universe and surrounding forces. You will start of with a series of slightly more complex visualizations (which will be connected to each other) than in the former two exercises.

First of all, you will visualize yourself in a meadow with the Sun rising in the east. Imagine you are looking at everything at high speed. That day will quickly turn into night as you watch the Sun fall. Of course, somewhere around sunset, the moon will show its glowing face in the sky so as you watch the Sun fall, you will watch the moon rise. Look at the stars that surround you and be thankful for the sunlight that gives you live and the moon and starlight that leads you on your path during the night (I am indeed aware of streetlights, but this goes much deeper than that...perhaps you can think about that while you meditate ^^). You can repeat this part of the visualization a few times if you like and visualize the moon in a different phase each time.

Imagine the change of the seasons happening before your eyes (again at high speed). Look at the flower in Spring, the green grass and feel the light breeze on your cheeks. After this, feel the swelter of the Summer Sun, its heat on your body and look at all the living beings that surround you because everything around you is simply bursting with life! Now it's Autumn, and with it comes the yellowish-red tone of the leaves and a slightly colder breeze and possibly a few droplets of rain. For Winter, try to visualize piles and piles of snow surrounding you, feel the wind pinching your cheeks and breathe in the energy of life and feel your life force being renewed. Return now to Spring and slowly open your eyes.

Of course, try to visualize the seasons as they are in your natural surroundings (for example, there's rarely any snow where I live, so I doubt I would visualize Winter like this).

The Elements

I read this exercise combine (in a way) with this previous exercise but I modified it to fit my needs. Visualize yourself in a meadow, again. In order for yourself to connect with Air, feel the wind in your hair, on your cheeks and hear it carrying leaves around you. For the element of Water you can visualize a small stream nearby or even the sea shore being somewhere near you. You can drink some water from the stream (of in the case of sea water, just pass your hands through it) and hear its light movement (which is helped by the light breeze which is still blowing). For the element of Fire, you can imagine a small campfire nearby. It is tame and you keep it under control by adding dry leaves and branches when it needs to be fed. To connect with Earth, all you have to do is imagine yourself taking a handful of the earth and feel its power. If you are lying on the ground while imagining this, the feeling will be all the more intense.

For now, I'll stop with giving you exercises to do because I'm sure you will find more than enough of them on your own and in time. But I will recommend you try to make all these visualizations of reality. You can actually go camping (in real life) and physically feed the campfire, physically feel the wind on your face, the earth in your hand and the water trickling into you throat as you drink it.

Of course, if you find some of these exercises impracticable in reality, you can always be content with the simpler ones. After all, even the Greek philosophers though (and in a way meditated) simply by walking (or during walks?) so you can try this as well. Just take a walk through nature and relax.

You can even do some of your hobbies in nature (play a smaller instrument, read, write, do yoga, draw/paint, walk, ride a bike, go roller skating etc.). Everything that creates positive energy and thoughts is welcome :)

Being in nature can really help your soul to recover and help you realize certain things. Learn to be grateful for the small things in life. Remember how hard it is to get to food and remedies in nature by going out to get some in nature (which is often done as a part of the Sabbath festivals). Try and find some ingredients for a meal you are preparing or some herbs for a tincture/oil/tea you want to make. All of these are ways of communing with nature.

After you have done this for the first time, I believe you will sense a difference (because I most definitely did). In case you want to try out some more exercises, you can leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I'll surely be able to find or think up more of them. But I think this will do for now :)

Until next time. Yours,
Witch's Cat

1 komentar:

  1. Thank you so much for your kind words and I love that you included me with your recommended blogs. Sacred Blessings, Jennifer

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